For generations we've put up with sub-10% YOY performance improvements on ultraportables, but with the threat of AMD's competition in the near future, Intel's low-power mobile chips are finally transitioning to quad-cores. Achieved while keeping within the same 15-watt TDP, let me tell you, the boost is huge.
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Instead of breaking new ground in performance, Ivy Bridge improves efficiency, marking the arrival of Intel's 22nm design process which uses new 3D transistors. This allows the flagship quad-core 3.5GHz Core i7-3770K to consume less power than the more modest Sandy Bridge i5-2500K.
Granted, the 19-watt power savings we recorded in our tests probably won't excite desktop users, but it does present a tangible benefit for battery-bound mobile machines. Ivy Bridge's improved fuel efficiency should grant laptops a little more mileage away from wall chargers.